NBC Connecticut/Audrey Washington
A payloader moves mounds of snow in front of the federal court building in New Haven
Significant progress has been made in clearing the state's highways of snow, Gov. Dannel Malloy said Tuedsday.
"The Department of Transportation reports that about 95-percent of its main roads are free of snow debris," Malloy said. The DOT hoped to have 100-percent of the main roads cleared overnight. That will allow snow removal crews to concentrate on secondary roads, according to Malloy.
Snow removal efforts on I-84 in Hartford caused major backups into the city during rush hour Tuesday evening.
In cities and towns, some side streets remain untouched and many two-lane streets are down to one lane.
The state has released snow removal equipment to assist some cities and towns, Malloy said.
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano met with Malloy to discuss the snow removal efforts and said the city is going back to the main roads and widening them.
New Haven will began towing on all the arterials as of 6 p.m. Tuesday.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, DeStefano said, the city will go back to the neighborhoods. Parking will be banned on all the odd sides.
School has been out in New Haven and DeStefano told Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman that he thinks the school buses would be able to get through on Wednesday, but the mayor is concerned about where the children will stand. A decision will be made by 5 p.m.
Should schools be closed, the mayor said he thinks some daycare/rec services for parents who are going back to work.
“So we’ll figure out how to do that,” DeStefano said.
The mayor told Malloy that some residents have set up their own brigades to clear out sidewalks in their neighborhoods.
Some towns have been using plowing equipment, as well as National Guard vehicles, to respond to emergency calls.
“Friday night, we got a little compromised on emergency response calls,” DeStefano said. “Until Monday, we were responding with payloaders and Humvees.”
Malloy said the state transported a lot of nurses from Hamden to New Haven’s hospitals because they had no other way to get there.
Malloy said there are about eight Humvees, two loaders and 29 personnel in New Haven.
Waterbury is clearing out schools by paying local teens to shovel.
East Haven has issued a parking ban to remain in effect until further notice and the town is offering to pick up medical prescriptions for snowbound in certain critical situations through the courtesy of a McDermott Auto Group vehicle and the National Guard’s Humvee.
The drivers use the vehicles to pick up the prescription at the pharmacy and deliver it to the resident’s door. The vehicles are also available to the community to use for emergency response.
Residents who are snowbound and in dire need of their medication should call 91-1 for this service.
Malloy said he has spoken with about 25 mayors and first selectmen about snow removal efforts and said towns that have removed snow are lending services to other communities.
In Bridgeport, the fire department used sleds for rescues and payloaders have come from Buffalo, New York to help clear the streets.
A parking ban remains in effect in Vernon until further notice. Police issued a news release warning that violators could be ticketed and towed.